The LEMMENS Tree

 

The LEMMENS children

A while back, my mother emailed the above photo of her grandfather, Eduard LEMMENS with his siblings.   The only ones identified at the time were Eduard (left) and his brother, Michel (right) whose records I had been unable to locate – I didn’t even have names of the sisters but at least the photograph was evidence that there were at least five.

It turns out that Eduard was in fact one of thirteen children born to Frederic Jean LEMMENS & Celine Marie VAN WOUW (blogged about previously) but only these seven had made it to adulthood.

Frederic Jean LEMMENS & Celine VAN WOUW (with possibly youngest daughter, Irma)

A search for Frederic in the Dutch archives website (openarch.nl) led me to all the records in which he was listed as father.

one of the search result pages on openarch.nl for Frederic Lemmens

There seems to be a wealth of information available online for those seeking their Dutch ancestors, albeit a little tricky to navigate for the non-Dutch speaking users (like me).  I was finally able to locate a birth record for brother Michel. His name had been spelled Micheal in the records which seemed to be the reason it was difficult to find him (unlike other ‘more fuzzy’ search engines I’ve used).  All their children’s birth records were there (all born in Vlessingen, Zeeland), as well as death records for the five who died as infants/children.  I have yet to translate these death records as I want to make a death counterpart to my ‘Super-Duper-Handy-Dandy Dutch Birth Record Translation Helper’ and am currently learning some basic Dutch to help me research this particular branch.

However, with this information I was able to find the names and birthdates of the surviving children and guess who is who in the photograph. Irma and Leontine were the easiest being the youngest but I have reservations about the older girls as I can only guess at their ages (sorry, ladies).  The woman I labelled as Valentine looked the oldest to me, and ‘possible Anna’ looked younger than ‘possible Esperance’ but of course, I could be wrong.  I am in the process of trying to date the photograph and glean as much information as I can from the image (ie. why the photo album on the table?).

 

Next Steps:

  • Date the photograph
  • Translate death records
  • Seek more photographs to help correctly identify each individual

 

 

RIP Easy IGI Searches Online

I found this unfinished post just ‘laying around’ which reminded me just how much I miss the old IGI search on the Family Search website.  Not quite sure about their reasoning but in their attempt to improve, they basically made it worse.  I’m not going to moan about something that is provided for free but I just… miss it.  

Here is the old post (with a couple additions) which seemed to be a HOW TO FIND ANCESTORS BORN BEFORE 1837 or a recount of how I came to a conclusion but I’m not sure what I was trying to prove. It may be of some use to someone:

Thomas PALMER is listed on his son’s marriage certificate 1848 as a ‘Bookseller’:

A search of the IGI online (after census searches of son George’s approximate age) now identifies his wife as Ruth (and locale as Portsea):
The original baptism entry in the Saint John’s Chapel, Portsea parish registers gives further confirmation these are the correct people, as Thomas’ occupation is listed as ‘Book Binder’ (same field of work – books):
Back to the IGI to search for the marriage of Thomas and Ruth, which gives her maiden name as Ruth WRIGHT (married in Saint Mary’s Portsea):
This makes it easier to search the census records which then give me approximate birth dates for Thomas and Ruth.  Parish records can now be searched for the marriage (possibly more information); their own births/baptisms and other children of the marriage.  
Next Steps:
Find copy of Thomas & Ruth’s marriage entry in the Saint Mary’s, Portsea parish registers
Find copy of Thomas & Ruth’s baptism entries in Chichester, Sussex (church unknown)

Bombay Love Story Continued…

Obituary Notice for Drusilla WILLS (nee WREFORD)
(Auckland Star, Volume LXV, Issue 140, 15 June 1934, p3)

This obituary for Drusilla WILLS (nee WREFORD) featured in my previous post stated that:

Mrs. Wills is survived by two children. Mr James Wills and Mrs. D. Evans, and 15 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

My searches of the NZ BDM showed me that Thomas & Drusilla had 3 children:

Richard Henry, Drusilla Howard and James Howard WILLS birth registrations
So you may presume (as I did) that: 
a) their son Richard Henry died prior to 1934; and 
b) the Mrs D Evans referred to is their daughter, Drusilla Howard.
However a search of Wills/Evans marriages from 1865 only came up with 2: 
WILLS/EVANS marriage registration
This means that one of the surviving children was actually ANOTHER daughter called Charlotte (and the D being her husband’s initial).  However, there was no birth record of a Charlotte WILLS.  So, IS this Charlotte a daughter of Thomas & Drusilla?
I was able to find the marriage of Drusilla Howard WILLS (spelt Drucilla – one of the 3 births listed) to a William SHORT in 1899.  
I checked the WREFORD pedigree compiled in 1908 (more on that another time) which notes Drusilla and Thomas had SIX children.  With only 3 of those listed in the online BDMs – is it possible to find these other children OR was the compiler mistaken?
Next Steps:
  • Check birth notices in newspapers (Papers Past)
  • Check BDM for WILLS deaths prior to 1934
  • Scour newspapers for any other references to the family

Desperately Seeking John

A couple of months ago, I found out via an 1896 newspaper article that my ancestor, Alexander Ritchie BUCHAN, had a brother called John.  John was there when Alex died pulling in a fishing net but where was he all those other years?
18 foot shark caught in Otago Harbour 1894
Charles BUCHAN and his wife Jessie (Janet RITCHIE) migrated to New Zealand on the Rimutaka in 1893. All their children (except Charles), some of whom had begun their own families went too.  Peter, Jessie (married to John BUCHAN), Alex and William all arrived on the Rimutaka. John had never appeared with the family on the censuses and so I hadn’t realised he was missing.
A little bit of research proved that John was actually twin brother of William – born 11th July 1868 in Peterhead.  Was it just coincidence that he was away from home all those census nights?  Did he stay in Scotland or
A search of shipping lists from 1890 don’t seem to show John’s arrival in New Zealand so it seems likely that he migrated before the rest of the family.
RMS Rimutaka

A search of the IGI comes up with  9 other John BUCHANs born in Scotland in 1868 alone. I have scribbled down these parents names to avoid confusion as the long census search begins…

Edited to add:
Just reread an excerpt from Roy BUCHANs book about the family:

The Buchan family settled in Carey’s Bay, a mile from Port Chalmers. They fished in the comparative calm of the inner Otago Harbour instead of the hazardous and stormy North Sea. The main breadwinners were Jack, his brother-in-law Alexander and father-in-law Dade [Charles]. The younger two men would fish from an open boat in the harbour and Dade would sell the fish.

Could brother John actually refer to his brother-in-law John (married to Jessie)? The newspaper article mentions that Charles also gave evidence at the hearing which means he was probably also there (as the excerpt suggests).

Twins

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that I had no idea that Alexander Ritchie BUCHAN had a brother called John. 

I did a ‘parent search’ on familysearch.org for Alex’s parents, Charles and Jessie (nee RITCHIE) and up he popped! While checking the information, I noticed that his birth date was identical to brother William’s but perhaps this was confused with a christening date (children were sometimes baptised in ‘bunches’).

I managed to download the birth entry on Scotlands People and sure enough, John and William were twins!

Birth record of Charles & William BUCHAN, Peterhad 1868
Anyone else found twins in their families?  I think this was the first instance I’ve come across.